Books off the shelves


Learning communities manager Sarah McQuade. Picture: Jon Hewson           d451066
Learning communities manager Sarah McQuade. Picture: Jon Hewson         d451066

It is believed the cuts hint at the government favouring digitial services in future.

About $1.6 million allocated to purchasing books, DVDs and CDs, and a van service delivering inter-library loans, will be cut over the next two financial years, following a review.

The City of Canning’s four libraries in Willetton, Bentley, Riverton and Cannington attracted 440,713 visitors in 2014-15, a figure Canning chief executive Lyn Russell said reflected the commitment to innovative and appealing programs.

“The City is very proud of its libraries and despite a popular perception that library visitation is in decline, the City has kept visitation very high due to its programs and services,” she said.

Adult colouring-in sessions, knitting, author talks and book clubs, coupled with child-focused programs that drew in almost 13,000 youngsters last financial year, were among the drawcards for locals.

Ms Russell said there were plans to establish a learning hub as part of the Bentley Regeneration Project and possible system upgrades would ease check-in services.

The cuts prompted Public Libraries WA president Debra Summers to warn that other important services may suffer as councils shift resources to cover the losses.

“As these cuts reduce funds for physical books, councils may have to shift resources from important services such as free access to the internet for our most disadvantaged community members and story time for babies to buying books for children, adults and seniors,” she said.